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Lower Town and Byward Market

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The Lowertown-Byward Market area is probably the most well known community in Ottawa. It is one of the oldest communities in Ottawa and was originally a cedar swamp that was clear cut and given an grid system layout. While the Rideau Canal was being built in the 1820s-1830s a large amount of Irish and French Canadian workers moved into the affordable Lowertown. The current layout of Lowertown is a result of the Gerber Plan, a renewal and improvement plan that was meant to accommodate growth by giving the downtown area a more practical area. This plan resulted in many people's homes being demolished in Lowertown and was stopped when people from other communities saw what happened in Lowertown. Considered to be the birthplace of Ottawa, the Byward Market was established in 1826 by Colonel John By as a large public market and public gathering area. The neighbourhood has recently made a strong effort to develop and grow its residential areas making it a commercial, residential, and industrial hub in the city.

Housing Statistics

Oldest house: Built in 1840.


Recreational Opportunities

Lowertown-Byward Market community 

National Gallery of Canada 

St. Brigid's Centre for the Arts 



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